Through Better Choices, One Step At A Time
It is no secret that our country is facing tremendous financial challenges,and just as we consider the best course to improve and prosper, a deeper and more personal scenario. Surfaces with dreaded consequences, Our health. For it is known that all may be lost but if you got your health, you have opportunities and are blessed.
Our health and that of our families, communities are being taxed by a relentless and aggravating
Obesity epidemic . In 1990 there were only five States in the Country that had Obesity rates of 15% or more, today no state in the country has less than 20 %. In Florida we have 26.6 % obesity according to the CDC, US obesity trends USA.
Today the statistics tell us that two out of every three persons is overweight (BMI greater than 25) and one out of every three is Obese (BMI of 30 or more), with Hispanic and black populations having even worst figures. The percentages for both sexes also worsen as the population ages . The real shocker is that the obesity rates are projected to double in the next thirty years, with the figures for our children now indicating that one out of every three children is obese.
While there are many reasons that we could discuss as to the reasons why? Including Genetics, cultural, social, governmental,etc, the fact is that we have a Clinical condition which has dysfunctional hormonal presentations,most notably insulin resistance which progresses to metabolic syndrome and Diabetes. This creates an inflammatory process which aside from giving us bigger waists and hips propagates a multitude of associated medical conditions.
To illustrate here is a short list of medical conditions associated with increase weight and Obesity that I have gathered from a pool of scientific and medical journals:
A) hypertension, high cholesterol,and insulin resistance where each factor independently increase the risk for heart disease.
B) Strokes; for each unit increase in BMI the likelihood of a hemorrhagic stroke increase by 6% and an ischemic stroke by 4%
C) Pulmonary dysfunction is increased with increased weight, as BMI increase so does the likelihood of Asthma. Obstructive sleep apnea is present in 90% of those patients seeking Bariatric surgery and most people with sleep apnea have BMI of 30 or more.
D) Alzheimer’s dementia risk at age 70 is increased by 36% for each BMI unit above 25.
E) A large amount of data now shows a connection between Obesity and cancer, including colon cancer and Breast cancer. According to the National Cancer Institute 30 % of cancer deaths are attributable to dietary factors.
So with all these factual information excess weight is by far one of the most life threatening and disease causing problems of our times. The current economic impact on our economy is $270 BILLION per year.
On the other hand, unlike other problems to which we feel powerless to change, the problem of excess weight and obesity gives each of us an opportunity to significantly effect and change. The power to effect lies not in some expensive treatment or procedure but in a conscientious decision to take responsibility and charge of our health and learn to make improved and wise choices in what we allow into our mouths.
We must be the attentive guards of what we buy and feed ourselves and our loved ones. For as Hippocrates said “let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” Keep Vigilant for as our society has changed the way food is mass produced and supplied, we must recognize that in an appetizing and seductive delicacy could be our poison.
Recognizing and appreciating that food is Joy, and is associated with great memories of fun, family and friends, the goal needs to be to attain a sense of Balance to our nutrition and Lifestyle.
It is my opinion that our culture of high carbs and low fat has led us to a critical state and to take our health back we must focus, visualize and create a healthier lifestyle and empower our daily lives by learning to make better choices. These would include eliminating or significantly reducing Refined sugars, grains and starches. These hardly give our bodies any satiety and promote high insulin surges which is at the root of the problem. In its place opt for low glycemic fruits,vegetables and whole grains which give your body an increase sense of satiety. Balance your three meals with adequate amounts of protein And I would encourage a few healthy snacks.
Recognize that good fats are good for you and necessary to help you build healthy cells and also play a major role in keeping one satisfied.
So as bad as it is, as long as you have your health anything is possible, so give yourself the power and visualize and believe in a healthier you, and start today by making better choices.
Cesar Lara MD
César A. Lara, M.D. is a Board Certified family physician and a leading expert in the field of medicine, the treatment of obesity, and weight loss management. For more than 20 years, it has been Dr. Lara’s passion to become a positive force in America’s ever-growing obesity crisis…one patient at a time. Dr. Lara’s dream of helping men and women overcome diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, and other chronic conditions related to obesity was realized with the emergence of the César A. Lara, MD; Center for Weight Management as a premier weight loss center in Tampa Bay. A graduate of the University of Iowa, Carver College of Medicine, Dr. Lara is known for his strong personal faith and his generous contributions to the Tampa Bay community. Dr. Lara regularly appears on television as a medical contributor to Brighthouse Network’s Bay News 9 en Español and WTSP-TV Studio 10. He frequently participates in corporate health fairs promoting an active lifestyle and healthy weight loss options. He is the founder of St. Michael’s Free Clinic and Weight Away Tampa Bay, charitable organizations that provide free medical treatment to those who cannot afford it.